AC Joint Injury | Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand | Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty
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What has happened?

  • You have injured a small joint at the outer end of your collar bone (clavicle)
  • This is a common injury, especially in sport, and usually heals very well without treatment

What should I expect?

  • You may have a lump above your shoulder, which can be painful - this is normal and should settle with time, although may not completely disappear
  • It will likely be painful over the first few days/weeks, and you will likely have difficulty moving your shoulder
  • Depending on how severe your injury is, you might be able to return to your usual activities after a few days, if your injury is more serious, it might take weeks to months

What should I do?

  • Take regular pain relief (e.g. paracetamol and ibuprofen) as needed
  • Move your shoulder normally as much as pain allows - this will prevent your shoulder from getting stiff
  • You can make an appointment with a physiotherapist who can provide exercises to improve strength and movement in your shoulder to aid recovery - take your ACC form/number with you

What should I not do?

  • Avoid lifting heavy things initially
  • Avoid contact sports for 2-4 weeks to prevent causing further injury

Will I be followed up?

  • Not as this stage, these injuries usually heal well without further treatment

What if I have concerns/questions?

  • If your injury is not settling or you have other concerns, you should see your GP first - take your ACC form/number with you